The Republican Reports
Sent: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 1:33 pm
Subject: A public apology for my recently released email.
Recently, a personal email I sent a group of friends in reaction to Library Director Isman's retirement was made public. That email has understandably upset some people. I apologize for the tone of a personal email written in the heat of the moment. But one of my principles is you don't write anything in private that you aren't willing to defend in public. I genuinely believe that what happens over the next few months may determine whether our library can stay a first-rate institution.
I hope those who have read my letter understand the reason for my passionate reaction. At issue isn't a controversy over policy, nor clashing personalities, and it's certainly not about "politics". It's about what the rules are that define a library. We have been struggling with a constitutional crisis.
At heart the question is: who is going to run our library, professionals or politicians?
Fortunately, we trustees have agreed to the equivalent of turning to the Supreme Court for an answer and are hiring a facilitator to meet with us this November. The facilitator is also an expert on trustee/director/staff roles and relationships. She will be educating us on those in addition to helping us resolve our differences. I'm sure I have my share of misconceptions to be corrected, and there may well be more public apologies she'll be asking of me!
I remain hopeful this process will succeed. At our last two meetings we've demonstrated we can still work as a team. And if you look at the times we've kept away from trying to manage the library and stuck to governing it, I think this board can claim a pretty darn good record of accomplishments!
Trustee, Jones Library System
The "personal email" in question
UPDATE: 3:45 PM
From: Emily Lewis
To: Chris Hoffmann and listserve
Let me say something now; I have been silent, but my silence, is not agreement.
THe board is not comprised of politicians. We are elected, but being elected does not a true politician make. I have no funds, no political party, no political leaning in my decisions. I am making no money at what I am doing. We have been elected to ensure that a public institution is not run without oversight or question, by a private person.
This is completely a controversy over policy, despite Chris' statement.
Further: the Supreme Court analogy is inaccurate at best.
We will be meeting with a facilitator to learn how to work together.
There may be advice; one can hope for this.
Further: I do not want any more apologies. I want direct discussion with me. At this point I do not trust my fellow trustee; what I want is that trust back....before the summer is when I had it.
That's it for now.
MEETING TIME: 4:30 PM. Friday 10/15
LOCATION: Jones Library, Large Meeting Room.
LIST OF TOPICS: Agenda. Minutes: 7/27/10, 8/4/10, 9/28/10 for approval.
Public comment. Formal acceptance of the Director's notice of retirement.
Interim Director. Plans for seeking a new Director. Board priorities for